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A U-Boat In Ireland

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  • A U-Boat In Ireland


    This build thread will detail the building of a R/C static diving 1/40 scale U-Boat with working lights and sound.


    Following my build and test bed for ideas detailed in my 'A Skipjack in Ireland' thread, I'm commencing a 1/40 (ish) U-Boat build using the old warhorse of a Robbe 1/40 'semi-scale' kit.......

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    ..........long out of production, I found this perfect example on Ebay for 380 Euro.

    Combined with a 900ml Engel Piston Tank and their Bayonet Lock with Accurate Model Parts decals and the Modellbau-Wikinger upgrade parts.....................

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    ............ which includes scale decks, flood/drainage holes, conning tower, railings (Wintergarden), scopes, and a 'Tech Rack' designed for Engel internals (total 320 Euro).


    Now before anyone chimes in with the comments about the Robbe U47 kit and it's flaws, let me quote from the staggeringly researched work 'The Wolf Pack: A Collection Of U-Boat Modelling Articles' free to download from:-

    http://amp.rokket.biz/docs/the_wolf_pack_compr.pdf


    The Wolf Pack




    ''This semi-scale kit is an ideal starter kit for radio-controlled submarine modellers, and fulfils this

    remit successfully. It bears a passing resemblance to its intended subject the VIIB U 47 but is

    inaccurate in almost every respect to the real boat. This effectively precludes the building of an accurate

    replica''


    This is a harsh and mostly accurate verdict, however having built one of these kits into a fairly decent U-203 in 2006/2007, time has moved on and we have a huge amount of assistance from small suppliers with accurate upgrade parts. Also, this is the only large scale U-Boat I can get into my vehicle as it breaks into two smaller parts.

    So I will be disarding the Robbe decks, tower, flooding slots, props, prop shafts, tech rack and other parts for better commercially available versions or scratchbuilt items.

    Two major hurdles have to be crossed before I can begin, firstly choosing a boat from over 700 examples at an exact time period and trying to get a handle on the details contained in the above book. Using this source and other material I will narrow the choice over the next few weeks based on the available research and hopefully some good images of my chosen boat if discovered.

    I expect I will need 18 months to 2 years to complete this project.

    Secondly, as no good deed goes unpunished I recently fractured my hand helping my niece fix up her new house........


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    ............so it's mostly parts acquisition and research for the moment!!!!


    The Boattrainman
    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 07-27-2017, 08:02 AM.
    ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

  • #2
    Interesting comparison between the Robbe and Wikinger parts. Here are the two decks side by side, total length 1700mm.


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    There is superb moulded on details on the Wikinger parts.

    For CNC cut plastic the details are great compared to the 'coarse' scale Robbe deck.

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    The flood/drain slots are good too, I may be wrong but the Wikinger parts in black look modelled on the Revell 1/72 kit upgrade available in brass.

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    There was a brass deck for the Robbe U47 a few years ago, but I hear it was a bit on the heavy side, despite being a stunning piece of kit. Despite this upgrade kit some of the slots are still wrong depending on boat choice.

    The Boatrainman



    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 06-09-2017, 08:07 AM.
    ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

    Comment


    • #3
      Just one example of the Photo-Etched parts that are available, this is the rear deck light.


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      The Boattrainman



      ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

      Comment


      • #4
        Looks like this will be a great build! Looking forward to the updates!

        Comment


        • #5
          A start is made on the tower which will be 'Turm 0' early period, although the Wikinger upgrade item has some mistakes which need to be sorted.

          The three piece frame is made around which the plastic tower is wrapped.

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          The lights are my standard fit of connections, brass heat shield and reduction resistor encased in epoxy.

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          The lights are Robbe plastic lenses with 3mm LEDs, once working I will build a scale surround on each.

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          The light housings, wind deflector, seats, wooden insulation on the inner walls and forward instrument area are all scratchbuilt.

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          The Boattrainman




          Last edited by The Boattrainman; 06-23-2017, 02:22 PM.
          ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

          Comment


          • #6
            Some more detail is added to the Tower. The side and rear lights get thin brass surrounds and plastic hats.

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            The attachment points for the lifebuoys and aerial rigging (spare white metal parts), the metal strip under the grill plus four raised marks as per photos.

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            The fog horn in the larger forward port side hole is a small piece of round plastic with a cocktail stick as the speaker horn.............

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            ..................and the hole for the aerial wire inlet is round plastic tubing inserted at an odd angle and sanded flat to the tower. I'll sort the insulator later.

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            So now I've got this far, I know I'm confined to U69-72, U93-98, U551-557 and U331 as these had the slatted air intake and no MAH (the round piece seen on most U-Boats on the port side that housed an extra antenna).

            The handrails are next and in this area the Wikinger tower is wrong as some of the pilot holes are misplaced.

            The Boattrainman
            Last edited by The Boattrainman; 06-26-2017, 06:57 AM.
            ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

            Comment


            • #7
              The added details look great. This will be a spectacular display piece. I am right that this is just a display model, no RC. Right?
              If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Trout,

                Sorry for the delay in responding, was away on hols with the family.

                This will be no mantlepiece ornament!

                I'm going for full static diver, based around a 900ml Engel Tank, working lights and sound and I'm going to try to add enought detail to overcome the limitations of the Robbe kit including correct flooding hole patterns, S-Gerat on the nose, scale deck, scratchbuilt periscopes and housings etc. etc. etc.

                Will be out of the pub for a long time on this one.

                Rob

                ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

                Comment


                • #9
                  The handrails are now completed.

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                  The smaller details include the jackstaff and the fitting on top of each rail for the torpedo loading equipment.

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                  A major concern was the attaching of the vertical rails to the base of the circular Wintergarden, photos show these are welded to the sides, but gluing metal to plastic is problematic and would be vulnerable to breaking.

                  The solution was split pins with the same diameter hole as the railing, inserted into holes and the vertical railings inserted into these and trimmed and soldered.

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                  Some of the railings are a bit over 'scale', this is deliberate as I want them as strong as possible to avoid damage.


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                  A bit of cleaning up to do, and more small details are required.

                  The Boattrainman
                  Last edited by The Boattrainman; 07-12-2017, 06:58 PM.
                  ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Speaking from being a gorilla handling delicate things, your rails look great and resistant to breakage. I think it shows a lot of wisdom and skill.
                    Great work sir!
                    If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks Trout!

                      Some more small details, the gimballed fitting for the forward compass and the voice pipe (the compass will be a separate fitting and dropped into the gimbal), there's two compasses in the conning tower.

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                      The guide fitting for the aerials on the railings.

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                      I spotted a major problem when it was too late to remedy properly. The Uberwasserzeiloptik or UZO is a torpedo aiming device for use when the sub is on the surface. I'm sure the Wikinger conning tower floor is based on the Revell 1/72 kit because as per the Revell sub it has the UZO base off centre to port (third round shape from left in below photo), the straight line down the centre is where it should be placed.

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                      To fix it I stuck the thinnest piece of styrene I had over the wrong shape, and marked out a new circle, then drilled new drain holes in line with the rest of the floor. It's not perfect but will have to do.


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                      The Boattrainman
                      ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The aerial inlets/insulators are bent tube for the rear pair, and three small diameter tubes inside each other for the forward.

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                        Favourable comparison with this photo I think.

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                        Have to fashion the slit surround for the rear light.

                        The Boattrainman
                        ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Next up is the attack periscope base, the rear of one is below.

                          The problem with this item is it's very fiddly, with lots of parts that could be damaged when in use, the challenge is to make it tough, and also insure the periscope will function out of the top.



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                          To make the basic shape I used metal tubes sleeved to give an approximate shape, glued together and then covered with filler and sanded.

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                          The basic components were..............

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                          ............ plastic tube for the compass gimbal, two gauges of soft/brass wire for the handrails and footrails, plastic rod for the bolt heads to deck, plastic bar for the V strengtheners at deck level and a split pin for the hatch holding mechanism.

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                          (looks like a robot holding a plate to me!!!!)


                          Here it is on the model, similar view to the actual one above, by comparison the navigation periscope base is a simple aluminium tube with wire handrails.

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                          I had to cheat in one or two places to keep it strong, and with over forty parts it took three nights work to make, but it is very strong which is important for a working model.

                          The Boattrainman
                          Last edited by The Boattrainman; 07-19-2017, 07:44 AM.
                          ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The final pieces of tower equipment other than the gun are the UZO with the top mount for the binoculars.

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                            Complete with the hatch and scopes, still more small details to add around the tower before it's finished.

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                            The Boattrainman

                            ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The Wintergarden seats require bases, these are made from 0.5mm wire.

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                              There's a small cleat either side of the tower between the L-shaped handles, again brass wire is used.

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                              The final large item is the 2cm AA Gun, the supplied barrel and base is used, all other parts are discarded.


                              mg301



                              The base is cut down and gets a new floor from a washer and round styrene as bolts.

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                              Lots of small parts in plastic and brass are added to give the gun some detail, thin masking tape is wrapped around the barrel for ribs.

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                              Finally the gun fixing tripod is made from brass.

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                              The Boattrainman
                              Last edited by The Boattrainman; 07-27-2017, 04:50 PM.
                              ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

                              Comment

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